Director D.W. Griffith's expensive, most ambitious silent film masterpiece Intolerance (1916) is one of the milestones and landmarks in cinematic history.
Many reviewers and film historians consider it the greatest film of the silent era.
The mammoth film was also subtitled: "A Sun-Play of the Ages" and "Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages." Griffith was inspired to make this film after watching the revolutionary Italian silent film epic Cabiria (1914) by director Giovanni Pastrone.
Intolerance was a colossal undertaking filled with monumental sets, lavish period costumes, and more than 3,000 extras.
The film consisted of four distinct but parallel stories that demonstrated mankind's intolerance during four different ages in world history.
June 12, 2013 Subject:
Love through the ages
What a brilliant silent movie! Intolerance is filled with tales of love and tragedy. I highly recommend this movie!
July 22, 2012 Subject:
La más cara y más ambiciosa obra maestra del cine mudo, Intolerancia (1916) de D. W. Griffith es uno de los hitos y puntos de referencia en la historia del cine.
Muchos críticos e historiadores de cine la consideran la mejor película de la época del cine mudo.
Está mastodóntica película también se la subtitulo como "A Sun-Play of the Ages"y "Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages.". Griffith se inspiró para hacer este film tras ver el revolucionario film épico mudo Cabiria (1914) del director italiano Giovanni Pastrone.
El rodaje de Intolerancia fue una empresa colosal lleno de decorados monumentales, trajes lujosos de época, y más de 3,000 extras.
La película se compone de cuatro historias distintas pero paralelas que demuestran la intolerancia de la humanidad en cuatro eras diferentes en la historia del mundo.
March 27, 2009 Subject:
Kill, kill, kill, and to God be the glory, Amen.
An epic tale. Four stories interlocking and sweeping in their power to show how intolerant people can be.
Constance Talmadge, who plays in two of the stories, is best as the Mountain Girl in The Babylonian Story, who gains her freedom after a Judge forces to marry. She is saved by Prince Belshazzar (Alfred Paget) and tries to return the favor when she exposes a plot to destroy the city. The sets in this story were magnificent for the time. The battle scene was as good as any today. The race in the chariot to save Babylon was thrilling.
In the modern tale, we see self-appointed guardians of the public morality (early CPS?) ruining lives based upon their twisted views. They steal Mae Marsh's baby after her husband (Robert Harron) is jailed on trumped up charges. Jealousy and deceit leave one person dead and a race between a car and a train to save another.
The film could have been edited as two of the segments were not really necessary, and the ending left a lot to be desired.
In all tales, we see competing religions; Bel vs Ishtar, Pharisees vs. Christ' Huguenots vs Catholics, and do-gooders vs the common people.
September 8, 2008 Subject:
Lillian Gish was right, but still a good movie
Gish apparently thought that Griffith was under pressure while making "Intolerance" and had ruined a good movie; perhaps he did, and that is why one's first reaction -- after the initial "wow!" and "gosh, this is a long movie!" -- is a reflection on how good this movie might have been.
The promise is there of something very special, notably in Griffith's superb use of screen spectacle (Babylon, the upper and lower class parties, and the mill strike in particular) contrasted with haunting close-ups of raw human emotion (most notably perhaps in the scene where the Boy sees the Dear One grieving for her father, as well as the expressions on the Friendless One's face as she waits to kill the Musketeer and then afterwards as her guilt keeps bringing her back to the scene); and of delicacy and innuendo, as in the scene where the Dear One and the Boy fight about "letting him in" (having sex) with the door between them, contrasted with the raw sexuality and brutality seen in scenes of the Love Temple and a few decapitations during the Babylonian segments; and overall, the success Griffith has in combining these particular story lines of modern labor and reform issues, the story of Christ, the slaughter of French Huguenots way back when, and the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus the Persian, into one narrative.
It's just not tight enough, though. One wishes for a bit more editing to bring out the common threads in each story line. ***Spoiler alert*** The ending is also unsatisfactory, killing off two of the story lines, and in the third, bringing everything down to a rather boilerplate "can they get to the governor in time" chase sequence. The coda is also a little disconnected, both because of the rather minimal treatment of the New Testament story line earlier in the movie and its sudden prominence here, as well as by Griffith's use of new scenes of modern warfare, etc., being transformed into tolerance rather than the ones we have just spent almost 3 hours getting familiar with.
One gets the sense that Griffith was indeed pressured into a "let's wrap this up" end to the thing before everything had clarified in his overall vision. It could have been truly exceptional. Nonetheless, it sets a bar for film technique, spectacle, and propaganda that people still aim at today; which is not to complain. "Powerful" and "influential" are not bad ways to describe a film.
You just have to wonder, though, what might have been....
A note on the soundtrack -- this version definitely needs something, but when the movie was released, it apparently had a full orchestration. Wouldn't it be wonderful if that score has survived somewhere and now is just waiting to be rediscovered!
May 24, 2008 Subject:
intolerance moving picture history
wow i downloaded this and sat and watched it and was gobsmaked,this film is as valid today as it was nearly 100 yrs ago or 3,000yrs ago.
picture qualety is not that bad bit dark in places and sometimes the writing isnot bright enough,it also could have done with a musical score maybe someone can find a score on line in public domain and audio dub it onto the film.
it realy does need music 3 hours of silence but its worth the watch.what i done was put a cpl of damned cds in the multi disc cd player.
but honestly i loved this
March 6, 2008 Subject:
It just doesn’t get better than this! This has got to be one of the greatest films ever produced. After completing “Birth of a Nation” Griffith took the money from that film and put it into making this one. Lillian Gish commented later in life that he lacked the confidence he had when making “Birth of a Nation” and cut “Intolerance” under pressure ruining what she believed to be the greatest film ever created. Despite this, the film continues to be considered the greatest film ever made and I personally concur. The message Griffith attempted to bring to the screen remains as poignant today as it was then. Absolutely brilliant! It is to bad this copy does not contain a musical score.